Tightlining and Eyeliner for Eyelash Extensions
Finding out which eyeliner might be safe for eyelash extensions (if any at all) is an ongoing research project for me.
Eyelash extensions have got to be one of the greatest beauty innovations of the last 50 years, and the way they look usually outweighs the cost/time associated with them. But they definitely feel as if they limit eye makeup choices and options, eyeliner the most questionable of them all.
And I have always been addicted to tightlining. Tightlining the right way is one of the two best ways to define your eyes and make them look open, and a lot of the time it’s virtually indetectable. Winged liner is endlessly popular among beauty vloggers, but the subtle sharpness of tightlining is just my favorite.
For the first year or two, I completely eschewed eyeliner due to my eyelash extensions — and I was really bummed about it. But no one could give me a straight answer about whether any liners were lash safe, and I just stayed away from it completely.
I don’t know when I finally cracked and started tightlining again, and I can’t remember if the idea came from my lash extensionist or somewhere else. But since eyeshadow was safe, I decided to try the wet brush technique, skeptical it could actually produce a subtle tightlining effect.
Spoiler alert, it does! Like with any eyeliner, the wet brush way varies depending on how steady your hand is et al. Here is a recent tightlined eye I did:
My Trick for Eyeliner with Lash Extensions
Literally any dark black shadow will do. I love the consistency of ColourPop shadows, and the “I Think I Love You” palette is a favorite of mine because I am sick to death of red and rust shadows:
The black pan used by Colourpop is true, velvety, matte, and doesn’t spread too much. If I’m too lazy or rushed to walk to the sink, I use setting spray on the brush from Urban Decay’s “Electric” palette. But any sharp, small angled brush will do. A diffused small brush (like a lip brush) is not ideal, because the bristles can spread pigment.
Since tightlining is my all time favorite, I was very excited to find out that either method (water or setting spray) led to an indistinguishably non-smudgey defined eye look. Not all setting sprays are definitively eyelash extension safe, so check the ingredient list for oils or other lash-degrading ingredients.
Finally, I noticed that after I started using liner again, my eyelashes actually lasted longer and shed less. It could be a function of increased lash washing, but it also might provide a barrier for natural oils that can degrade lash glue.
So you can definitely use eyeliner with lash extensions, even tightlining in the lash line. Presumably, a wing look is achievable the same way, but aesthetically I feel like that detracts from my lash extensions.